Ultrasound patches control blood flow


Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, created an ultrasound patch that measures blood flow in vessels up to 14 cm deep inside the body. The elastic patch can be applied to the skin and can help doctors monitor and diagnose various conditions, including blockages that can cause a heart attack. The patch contains a number of ultrasound transducers that can measure blood flow in the vessels directly below and the ultrasound beam can also be directed to evaluate the vessels that are near but not directly below.

Monitoring blood flow in specific vessels can help doctors diagnose various cardiovascular diseases. For example, measuring changes in blood flow to the carotid artery could show that someone is at risk for stroke and can help start treatment before a stroke occurs. However, current technology to accurately measure blood flow can be uncomfortable and invasive, as it requires a skilled technician to use an ultrasound probe to investigate the target vessel.

This patch is conceived as a more convenient alternative. “Just stick it on your skin and read the signs. It does not depend on the operator and does not involve any additional work or burden for technicians, clinicians or patients, “said Sai Zhou, a researcher involved in the study, in a UCSD press release.” In the future, the patients could bring something like this to do a point of care or continuous follow-up at home. ”

The flexible device contains a 12 x 12 grid of tiny ultrasonic transducers embedded in an elastic polymer. The transducers can be controlled to activate together, allowing researchers to investigate vessels up to 14 cm deep under the skin. In another mode, the transducers will be activated at different times, causing the ultrasound beam to be directed, allowing the user to investigate vessels that are not directly under the patch.

“With phase-matrix technology, we can manipulate the ultrasound beam the way we want,” said Muyang Lin, another researcher involved in the study. “This provides our device with multiple functions: controlling the central organs and blood flow, with high resolution. This would not be possible using just one transducer “.

So far, researchers have tested the patch and shown that it is as accurate as a commercial ultrasound device. The device is currently connected to cables that provide power, but the research team hopes to develop a wireless version in the future.

Study a Biomedical Engineering of Nature: Continuous monitoring of deep tissue hemodynamics with stretchable ultrasonic phase matrices

Via: University of California, San Diego

Source link